Meulin was staying over at Kurolz's. He was asleep, and she was laying there, looking around his room in the darkness because she couldn't really sleep. She wasn't very tired...
He started twitching, and acting like he was holding back screams or something. She looked over at him in concern, and then he screamed, burying his head in the pillow, and clutching the sheets, curling in on himself. She pulled the covers away from her, and then sat up, getting on her knees next to him on the bed. "Kurloz, Kurloz, it's okay." She said, trying to get to him over his screaming, which was getting louder. She grabbed his shoulders, and started shaking him, trying to wake him up. This scared her. He wouldn't stop screaming. She couldn't get him to wake up, to stop. She tried to hold back tears, but a couple still managed to fall down her cheek anyway.
He rolled over onto his back, still screaming in terror and pain. He was growing louder still, and she saw his back arch up from the bed. His eyes were squeezed tightly shut, and she wrapped her arms around his stomach, gripping him tightly. Trying to get through to him. "Kurloz! Kurloz, stop screaming! It's okay, it's not real! Please wake up!" His back flattened again, but he was still screaming.
Then... nothing. Silence. She could see him still screaming, but she couldn't hear him. She assumed he was silent screaming.
Screaming so high she couldn't hear him. She let go of him, straddling his body, too terrified to be embarrassed to any degree. She grabbed his shoulders, and shook him again, putting her hands on the side of his face.
Then he woke up, his screams dieing almost instantly. Or rather, he bolted upright, and the sudden motion sent her backwards onto his legs, her own still straddling him. He was panting heavily, the panic and fear in his eyes dieing from his eyes, quickly filling with relief instead. She was suddenly pulled into a hug, his arms wrapping around her waist. His forehead was resting on one of her shoulders, and she could feel him shaking like he was crying. She wrapped her arms around his neck. More tears leaked down her face.
Then he pulled back after a couple moments, purple tears staining his cheeks, and welling up in his eyes. Confusion in his eyes. He said something, but she couldn't hear it. She asked him, "Why are you mouthing things? Speak up." She then realized she couldn't hear own self.
Then his eyebrows knitted together in worry and confusion. He mouthed something again. She tilted her head. He looked a little fearful now. She didn't like that expression on his face. Not at all. She dropped her arms from his shoulders so she could hold both of his hands. "What's wrong?" She asked, but she couldn't hear herself, just as the same time. She looked up at him in confusion and slight panic. "Kurloz, why can't I hear anything?" But she already knew the answer. Even without his panicked look as well, she knew. She felt more tears well up, and fall down her face. They were crying all over again.
Darkness and evil swirled around him in his nightmares, as they usually did. Then suddenly Meulin appeared. But... she wasn't okay. She was bound in chains to the ceiling, cuffs on her wrists, and her clothes were tattered, torn. Her clothes looked big on her like she'd lost weight and gotten even skinnier. Her arms were pulled up over her head, the chains straight as a board. He head was down, her hair hiding her face. Her hair looked tangled, and she looked like she were crying, her shoulders shaking, and he could see a drop or two of her olive blood fall to the floor in between her feet every once in a while.
He was about to call out to her, when suddenly he saw a shadow of a person. He guessed she could see it too, because her shoulders stopped shaking, and her body went rigid. Then what he saw surprised him. It was him... with a knife. He entered the room, and went over to her. She didn't move, and kept her head down until he came over to her. He saw himself grab her chin, and lift her head up so he could see her. He'd been right, of course. Olive tears ran down her face, and it seemed to have died the skin slightly like she'd been crying for a while and the green tear marks left an imprint on her face.
But... she didn't seem happy to see him... or... his dream self. She seemed afraid. Panicked, really. He heard himself say something to her, but couldn't quite understand what he had said. Then he watched as he (his... dream self, he guessed), let go of her chin, and grabbed her by the throat instead. Her eyes went wide with true fear, and he lifted her up so she wasn't touching the ground anymore. The chains were slack enough for her to grab his wrist, but that's all she could manage, it seemed. He tried to go and save her from himself, but shadows came and held him in place, so all he could do was yell at the top of his lungs and try to escape.
His own self was holding her up with one hand, and the other held the knife. He watched, helplessly, unable to save her, as he plunged the knife into her stomach. He heard her breath catch, and her kicking legs stopped kicking. He let her go, and watched her drop back onto her feet.
He watched himself laugh, and then walk out, leaving her there to die. He screamed louder, fighting back as the darkness pulled him into shadows again.
He shot up, a scream dieing on his lips, and he saw Meulin's legs were around his stomach, and she was fallen back across his legs. She had some tears falling down her face, and he looked over her, making sure she was okay. Once he realized she was alive, not dieing, he grabbed her, and pulled her into a hug. He put his head on one of her shoulders, crying, unable to do anything else. He felt her shoulder tremble slightly, and he whispered softly, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'm so so sorry. I'm so sorry, Meu." He said, his shoulders shaking.
He whispered the question, "Are you okay?" Then she didn't answer. He pulled back, and looked her in the eyes. "Are you okay?" He asked a little louder.
Then he heard her ask, "Why are you mouthing things? Speak up."
He got worried. He thought he'd said it loud enough... "Are you okay?" He asked louder, just short of yelling.
Again, nothing. All he got was a confused tilt of the head. He was sure he looked a little scared now, and he asked, "Can you hear anything? Anything at all?" She felt her arms drop from around his neck so she could hold his hands. She looked confused and a little upset. "What's wrong?" She asked. Then he saw slight panic light her face, and she looked into his eyes. "Kurloz, why can't I hear anything?"
Then he felt all the relief he'd felt from seeing her disappear. It's like all happiness and hope drained from him. He felt on the verge of tears again, and his shoulders droop slightly. He could tell by the new tears welling up in her eyes that she knew the same thing. They both started crying again.
After they pulled themselves together again, they got up and went over to Sekret's hive. She was basically their only hope. A couple hours later, Sekret told Kurloz the bad news. She couldn't fix her. She was deaf. Permanently. She turned to Kurloz, who had a few stray tears going down his cheek. She wrapped her arms around him, and buried her face into his chest. "It's not your fault..." She said, like a whisper. Kurloz bent over her like he was trying to protect her, and wrapped his own arms around her as well. They cried softly again, and she knew Sekret had left the room to give them some privacy.
Kurloz took her back to her own hive, and she asked him to stay with her. He stayed, but he looked reluctant. He left that night, and she curled up in her own bed. She cried into her pillow again, knowing she'd never be able to hear anything ever again.
They managed to stop crying, and they went straight away over to Sekret's house to try and fix Meulin. But... not even Sekret could fix her ears. Meulin was deaf. End of story. And it was his fault. He felt tears rise up, and he saw his matesprit turn to him, tears in her eyes, too. She hugged him, and he heard her whisper to him, "It's not your fault..." But it was. It was his fault. He let her stay with him. He'd been the one to scream. He was the one who'd made her lose her hearing. He hugged her back, and bent over her, not knowing what else to do. They both started crying softly, and he knew Sekret wasn't there in the room. She'd left to give them some room when she told him the news.
He took her to her home, and he was going to leave, to keep himself away from her. He was too dangerous. She was so fragile, and he'd broken her. But she asked him to stay, and he couldn't tell her no, he was leaving. So he stayed reluctantly, and then left later on that night.
When he was back at his own hive, he ignored his lusus, and went to his room, shutting the door. He leaned against it, and then sank to the floor, slowly. He put his head in his hands and started crying again. He'd hurt her. Just like in his dream, he'd hurt her. He hadn't killed her, but he'd hurt her. His matesprit. His whole world. And he'd broken her. She couldn't ever hear any sound ever again. Not the little whispered nothings, not her friend's voices, not laughter, not anything.
He had to punish himself. Someone could not do something like that, and go without consequence. It wasn't right. He got up, wiping away his tears, and then found what he was looking for. A needle and black thread. If she couldn't hear, he shouldn't be able to speak. He shouldn't be able to say anything to her if she couldn't even hear his words. He could say he was sorry all he wanted, but she'd never hear anything ever again. He had to show he meant it. Truly. Not just words, empty things.
When he finished, he looked in the mirror. His lips now sewn shut. His mouth hurt a lot, but he didn't care. He deserved the pain. He deserved the sadness he'd shown her. He deserved her fear. But she hadn't been afraid of him. She'd asked him to stay... so that was something... but not good enough. It wasn't nearly enough to excuse himself for what he'd done.
A week later, I hadn't heard him at all. Oops, no pun intended there. He hadn't been online at all, or come to see her, or anything. So she went up to his hive to see how he was doing. She was sure he blamed himself. But she didn't blame him. It made her sad what had happened, but it had been an accident. She was even learning sign-language. She knew the letters now at least. Sekret and some other of her friends were helping to teach her. She was getting pretty good at reading people's lips while they talked, too.
She knocked on the door, but when he didn't answer, she walked in, calling his name. She found him in his room, sitting on the edge of his bed. His feet were flat on the ground, and his head was down. His elbows resting on his thighs, he didn't answer her, or look up.
"Kurloz?" she called quietly, and he still didn't look up. She went over to him, and crouched down. His face still hidden from view.
"Kurloz, it's okay, I don't blame you... please talk to me..."
He looked up at her then, and then she gasped, tears welling in her eyes. She saw his mouth had been sewn shut. He couldn't talk to her. Or move his lips at all. That's why he wouldn't answer her.
"Why did you do this to yourself?!" she didn't bother asking if he did it. She knew. He got up, and grabbed something. A marker and some paper. He wrote something down, and then held the paper out so she could read it. 'Because I had to.'
"What's that supposed to mean?"
'I was guilty.'
"I told you that I didn't blame you! It was an accident!"
'It was still my fault. All my fault. I didn't deserve to go unpunished."
"So you sewed your mouth shut?!"
'You wouldn't be able to hear me, anyway. Because of me.'
"Why, Kurloz?... Why?..." She asked as she wrapped her arms around his waist, and feeling tears well up. "I hate to see you like this... It hurts me to see you do this to yourself..."
A week after he left her at her hive and sewed his mouth shut, he heard a knock at his door. He didn't answer, though. Then he heard her calling him. He didn't answer, knowing she'd find him eventually. She did. "Kurloz?" He heard her soft voice coming from the door. He didn't answer again. She came over, and he could see her knees. "Kurloz, it's okay, I don't blame you... please talk to me..." Right. That night. It still haunted him. He looked up so he could see her. She seemed the same, except she wasn't smiling. Then he saw horror on her face. She gasped, and she yelled, "Why did you do this yourself?!" He didn't think she meant to be that loud, but he didn't do anything at first. He got up, and looked around for something to write on. He found some paper and a marker. He wrote down, 'Because I had to.'
"What's that supposed to mean?" She said, obviously irritated with him.
'I was guilty.' It was his fault. He'd screamed. He'd broken her. She'd never hear again. It was all on him.
"I told you I didn't blame you! It was an accident!" He knew she'd forgiven him, but he couldn't forgive himself.
'It was still my fault. All my fault. I didn't deserve to go unpunished.'
"So you sewed your mouth shut?!"
'You wouldn't be able to hear me, anyway. Because of me.'
"Why, Kurloz?... Why?..." She asked him as she got up, tears in her eyes, and hugged him tight. He heard her say softly, "I hate to see you like this... It hurts me to see you do this to yourself..." He fought back tears of his own. He'd hurt her again. Nothing could set this right. He's upset her again. Why couldn't he stop hurting her? Why couldn't he be a good matesprit to her? Did she want to be his matesprit anymore?... he hoped yes...
He took the marker, and wrote, 'I'm sorry... I'm sorry I hurt you again...'
She felt him moving, and then looked to see the new sentence he'd written. She felt more tears well up. She looked up at him, trying not to focus on his mouth, and to focus on his very sad eyes instead. "You didn't hurt me again... it just breaks my heart to see you like this... to see you hurt yourself..."
He was silent for a long time, and so was she. Then he asked, 'Do you still love me?'
It made him very sad to see her so upset. He loved her so much still, and he was so angry at himself for what he did to her. For what he was doing now. 'Do you still love me?' He asked, wanting, needing to know. He wouldn't blame her if she didn't love him anymore, there were many reasons on why not to. But then a horrible idea struck him... what if she had never truly loved him in the first place? Did she hate him?
She had more tears in her eyes now, some dripping down her face. "Yes... yes, of course I do... you're my matesprit..."
He gave a little smile, ignoring the slight that pain that came from the stitches. He was so happy that she still loved him. After what he'd done, and she still loved him... 'Good. Because I love you to...'
They stood there, embracing each other, him calming her, and her trying not to start crying.
She knew they would be okay. She forgave him, and they still loved each other. She couldn't lose him, and he knew he loved her a lot too... She sighed, breathing him in, and hugging him tight. She hoped one day he'd forgive himself and take the stitches out... she promised herself she wouldn't say anything about it, though, until he had decided... though she doubted that would be anytime soon...